WATCH: A rapping rabbi’s barmitzvah sermon!

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WATCH: A rapping rabbi’s barmitzvah sermon!

By Rachel Paul

Gabe Knopf is celebrating his barmitzvah. He is a regular Jewish 13-year-old boy, like any other.

His barmitzvah, on the other hand, was anything but normal….

When he celebrated his barmitzvah at Pinner synagogue, he was presented with a rap written by the shul’s Rabbi Danny Bergson.

(Note: This was *not* filmed on Shabbat.)

The four and a half minute rap incorporates Gabe’s Torah portion, encouraging him to stay “proud and loud about his identity” as a Jew.

The video ends as Rabbi Bergson presents him with a certificate and a book.

Rabbi Bergson told Jewish News: “The feedback from the community and beyond to the rap was totally unexpected and took me by surprise”.

The speech was originally written in traditional sermon form, but after remembering that Gabe was into rap, it was quickly transformed.

Bergson said, one aim of the video is to show that “Rabbis can relate to the younger generation through fusing together pop culture with a relevant Jewish message”.

– –



Gabe you celebrate your barmitzah today
Coming to shul with family & friends to pray

Pray for man U to do betta next season
But the rabbi wants you to know the reason

For being a Jew in the twenty first century
U need to be proud and loud about your identity

Chukkat is your parshah innit we learn a lot
Moses hitting instead of speaking to the rock

He got angry with the people lost faith in their ability
Barred from the holy land losing that possibility

We Jews are responsible to connect with one another
reaching out to the world do a favour for another

Each mitvzah we do transforms more darkness to light
Building a home for Hashem that’s warm holy and bright

Wrapping Teffilin each day may sometimes feel baloney
But in truth you’re binding your heart mind n’ soul to the One and Only

Sometimes we try but don’t or can’t understand the reason

But king Solomon taught for everything there is a season

Life has ups and downs and bumps along the road
But Torah helps develop the faith to cope – it’s a Jews source code

Like a Wi-fi connection gets weaker the further from its source
So a Jew must stick close-by his community (in order) to stay on course

My advice to you is to stay Jewishly online
Step by step each day learn one thing at a time

Direction Meaning purpose are what Judaism’s about
Don’t let peer pressure and the values on the outside draw you out

Never think Judaism frowns on having fun with playstations
It’s (about) upgrading your experience to deeper simcha elevations

Chessed loving-kindness is in your spiritual genes
With such a warm and loving family you will get through those dastardly teens

Today as your rabbi and friend I’m so proud of what you’ve become
More than just having your mum and dad round your little thumb!

A mature kind sensitive fun-loving play station boy
Who will march forward, the next link in the Jewish chain filled with joy

we anticipate great things from you in the near future Amen
we look forward to you taking your place as a Jewish adult time and again

Mazal Tov Mazal Tov!

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